How Is Mindanao Culture Evident In The Musical Instruments

Charlie K    |

The use of drums is very prevalent in Filipino culture, with most Filipinos owning at least one set. These are usually made out of bamboo or clay and sometimes plastic as well.

The tambourine type instruments have small rattling metal balls that hang off of leather cords. These can be either struck like a drum to play music, or used to shake up other materials (such as powder or liquid) to create fun sounds and effects.

There are many different types of percussion instruments depending on what kind of music people want to make. For example, there are djembes which have a curved end that makes a soft sound when hit, maracas which bounce around when pressed down, and bongos which have an extended handle that is beaten hard to get a strong rhythm and tone.

Music in the Philippines has evolved over time due to various influences. Western styles such as jazz and classical music were absorbed along with Arabic and Indian rhythms and melodies.

The instruments of the pop orchestra

how is mindanao culture evident in the musical instruments

One of the most recognizable features of Filipino culture is our love for music. Music has played an important part in Philippine history, from ritualistic chants to symphonies that defined eras.

Music has always been integral to celebrating life’s milestones, both big and small. Birthdays, weddings, and funeral services are all accompanied by a song or songs.

Filipinos have also gathered together to make sounds with their musical instruments. We have gamelan orchestras where musicians play different percussion instruments at once, we have kulintang groups (lute-playing) and bawal tuyo (plucked string instrument) sets, and we even have soloists!

The most popular type of music in the Philippines is called Pinay Ako. This genre originated during World War II when people sang about how beautiful Filipina women were and what a wonderful person they were. Many famous artists made this style very popular, including Frank Sampedro, who wrote many successful pinay ko lyrics.

Other well known Pinoy Ako tracks include “Babalibadaba,” which was sung by Ogie Alcasid after he won his first Awit Award for Best Performance; “Kailangan Kita Pungane Ka,” performed by Sharon Cuneta; and “Ikot, Ikon,” done by Gary Valenciano.

The instruments of the traditional folk orchestra

how is mindanao culture evident in the musical instruments

Another important element to look into is how each culture implements their musical instruments. What types of flutes, what kind of drums, and what type of guitars they have are some examples of this.

In Filipino cultures, we tend to use kabaranggawi (zithers) as well as xylophone-type instruments such as panitikan (xylophones). We also have ocarinas which resemble lute strings but with notches instead of flat surfaces.

We have various stringed instruments like sitornyo or gittern, gawing panda (double bass guitar), biniulot (bass violin), and even sokoton (violin)! All these different styles mix together to make up our music.

The instruments of the modern folk orchestra

how is mindanao culture evident in the musical instruments

Many people associate music with large groups of musicians that have very elaborate settings and stage design. These are sometimes referred to as “musical theatrics” because they feature lavish decorations and lots of flashy effects.

However, this style of music is only popular in certain types of music. For instance, symphonies were not common before the Renaissance or until after World War II.

During these times, most cultures had their own way of celebrating important events by playing musical instruments. Some even made them part of their culture!

These regional styles of music are what make it interesting to listen to new pieces and understand how the musician arranges the notes into songs.

This article will discuss some examples of indigenous Filipino drumming styles and the similarities between them and other ethnic drums. You will also learn about one type of instrument used exclusively for ritualistic purposes in the Philippines.

Popular instruments in the Philippines

how is mindanao culture evident in the musical instruments

The kulintang is a lute-style instrument that has many variations. Kulintan is sometimes referred to as manok talaw, which means chicken neck in Filipino. This name comes from how the strings can be pulled up and down the wooden body of the kulintang.

The most well known version of the kulintang is one with five strings. These are typically tuned in unison (all the same) or octave (each string an octave higher than the other).

Another popular style is one with three strings, which are also either all unisonic or octavichordic. Due to this, there are several variants, such as tritone substitution, modes, and microtonal music possible!

Music made using the kulintang is very diverse, but usually consists of short melodies accompanied by rhythmical patterns. Kulintans have distinctively strong voices that carry well and rich bass notes.

Kulintangs were used for both secular and sacred purposes. Secular songs often use lyrics that discuss love, life, philosophy, politics, and current events. Religious songs may focus on praise and prayers.

Reminiscent of the violin, musicians play the kulintang with their hands. However, instead of holding onto the top of the instrument like some sort of handle, they grab hold of the side near the bridge.

Popular instruments in the US

The next two examples are not strictly Filipino, but they bear mentioning because they are so popular here that people often forget how foreign they are to other countries’ cultures. If you ever need to refresh your knowledge of these instruments, start listening!

The first is the guitar. Many consider the guitar to be an American invention due to its popularity here. However, the instrument has roots in many different cultures around the world.

Some believe it was inspired by the lute, which is similar to the ukulele. Both have strings that can easily be tuned without using a tool like a tuning fork or bridge.

Another theory is that the inspiration for the guitar came from the shamisen, which is a Japanese musical instrument. This instrument looks very much like the guitar, except it does not use frets as navigation points.

Popular instruments in China

how is mindanao culture evident in the musical instruments

The next group of popular musical instruments are ones that are linked to Chinese culture. These include bamboo flutes, guzheng (Chinese zithers), sheng (monochords or one-stringed guitars) and pipa (lute style instruments).

Bamboo is an excellent material for making these types of instrument because it can be dried and then rehydrated without affecting its sound.

Popular instruments in Japan

how is mindanao culture evident in the musical instruments

The koto is one of the most well-known musical instruments in Japan. Originating from China, it was brought to Japan around 500 AD by Buddhist monks. Since then, many musicians have made their own adaptations and versions of this instrument.

The koto has five strings that are all tuned equally. Every string has its own pitch depending on what position it is in relation to the others.

By using different techniques, you can play various notes with the koto. Some people use their thumb to press down on the middle string while picking with their index or pinky finger. Others pull off the top two strings and push up the bottom three. It depends on how they feel about the song!

Kotos were used for ritual chanting and prayers. Today, they are mostly used for Japanese music and folk songs. People also make them themselves since it is not expensive to buy one.

Popular instruments in Europe

how is mindanao culture evident in the musical instruments

The next category is popular European musical instruments that have been adopted and adapted for use in other countries. Some of these are familiar to most people, while others not as well. These include the tambourine, djembe (African drum), ocarina (Amerindian flute), shaker, triangle, trumpet, guitar, bass, and violin.

The tambourine was probably one of the first percussion instruments ever made. It has two clappers that can be struck together or separately to produce different sounds.

The djembe is an African drum that comes with its own bag and stick. This instrument produces a rich sound when hit hard and fast. Ocarinas were once very common among Native Americans. An ocarina player would breathe through it to make music.

The shakers originated from metal rattles used by ancient cultures to signify their sacred nature. They eventually became handheld devices that create vibrations when shaken.

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